Livingston-based Inteplast Group, North America’s largest integrated plastics manufacturer, successfully bid for and will acquire PVC building products Gossen Corporation. This comes just 60 days after the 88-year-old company was placed into receivership by the Circuit Court for Milwaukee County and thereafter closed the doors of its plants located in Glendale, WI, and Cartersville, GA, due to its financial collapse. A total of 143 employees were laid off, 94 in Glendale and 49 in Cartersville. The Court approved today’s sale, which is expected to close this week.
The Court’s Order Approving Sale on December 13 will allow Inteplast Group enough time to inform Gossen’s former workers of the opportunity to report back to the plants in time for production by month’s end. Director of Operations Kyle Hintze, who is in charge of both the Wisconsin and Georgia plants, has begun notifying his former colleagues and expects that most employees will return to work.
Inteplast President Dr. John Young said that the purchase complements the group’s World-Pak division, which manufactures PVC building products such as decking, moulding, and trim at its Lolita, Texas, and Middlebury, Indiana, plants. This division also produces silicone-coated release liners and other products for the roofing industry at its MTI Polyexe facility in Brentwood, New Hampshire. Inteplast operates more than 50 manufacturing facilities and is ranked by Plastics News as the second largest North American film and sheet manufacturer with sales exceeding $2.6 billion in 2016.
“Gossen was well known to us by name and quality. Our hearts were drawn to this acquisition mainly because of the massive layoff affecting the livelihoods of 143 people and their families. It was imperative for us to get the bid done and quickly resume operations. We could have joined the liquidation process in order to save money, but at our expense we opted to restore full operations, mainly in deference to the many workers, some of whom had been at Gossen for more than 15 to 20 years. One office manager had worked at Gossen for 46 years, imagine this! Our hearts go out to the staff that made Gossen great. It’s the catalyst for us being proactive and bringing them back to work.”
Gossen’s debt significantly exceeded $5.5 million resulting in a court-ordered receivership on October 14, 2016. After failing to make its payroll, Gossen and Butterfield Holdings, LLC, came under Receiver Michael Polsky’s charge through Chapter 128. This Wisconsin liquidation proceeding allows the Receiver to continue operations if economically feasible while searching for a purchaser for the company’s assets as a going concern, or as an orderly liquidation of the assets. All employees were given summary notice that the company could not continue its operations at its plants and warehouses and were laid off on October 24, 2016.
Dr. Young said, “In many ways Gossen’s closing brings back old memories from the early 1990s when we started manufacturing with humble roots in Lolita, Texas. Even back then, most of our peers had begun migrating overseas; others have since closed down. We, on the other hand, stayed firm, never vacillating in our belief in domestic production. We always believed in American exceptionalism and more so in the ideal of American manufacturing. Our entire Inteplast foundation was built to prove this idea right. Much as we struggled over the years, we were blessed with an American workforce second to none in the world. Thus we are grateful to our colleagues from all over North America. Without their diligence and trust, we’d not be here today.
“We opted to take over the two Gossen plants, despite their being shut down at this time. We believe that the hard-working employees from both plants will certainly combine efforts with us to further this same ideal. I also want for us to show that both Glendale and Cartersville are great locations for sustaining manufacturing. Likewise, we are confident that both Wisconsin and Georgia are great states for domestic manufacturing.”Related Articles: